MX23RW : Saturday, July 24 19:01:28| >> :120:3696:3696:
Feb 13, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at Griffin Park (Brentford, Middlesex)
Attendance: 9,636
Aston Villa
Maupay (91')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Dean Smith frustrated by officiating after Aston Villa go down at Brentford

Dean Smith frustrated by officiating after Aston Villa go down at Brentford
© Reuters
Neal Maupay's stoppage-time strike decided it.

Dean Smith lamented the "pathetic" decisions that have cost Aston Villa this season, the latest of which was a challenge on top-scorer Tammy Abraham in a 1-0 defeat to Brentford at Griffin Park.

Neal Maupay struck the killer blow in stoppage time, but around 20 minutes earlier, the on-loan striker from Chelsea had the visiting faithful up in arms when he went over the challenge of Julien Jeanvier.

Smith, returning to Griffin Park for the first time since leaving in October, believed his side had received a raw deal once again.

"I've seen it back since (the Abraham incident). Some of the decisions this season have been pathetic for me. They're professional now, they need to be working harder to make sure they're in the right position to make the correct call.

"Against West Brom a couple of months ago, there was a handball in the last minute for their goal. We should have had two penalties at the end against Sheffield United last Friday and today we should have had a penalty, but we can't control officials' decisions and we just have to get on with our part of the game."

The 47-year-old was quick to praise his side's defensive solidity despite the stoppage-time sickener from Maupay and thought his team deserved to come away with at least a share of the spoils.

"Not many teams are going to open up here and play attacking football, because they've got players who pass and move very well. We had to defend manfully and I think we did.

"I thought if we could keep it at 0-0 they would get frustrated. Unfortunately Neal Maupay sticks one in the top corner at the end, but we had the best chances and didn't take them tonight."

Smith also paid tribute to the Brentford fans for the welcome he received before kick-off.

"It was good. They gave me a warm round of applause. I had three wonderful years here. They're top people, everybody who works for the club and the supporters as well. I enjoyed my time here, but my job's now Aston Villa."

Smith's counterpart Thomas Frank was understandably delighted that his team bounced back immediately after a 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest at the weekend.

"The feeling when you score a late winner, that is unbeatable. I think for everyone who cares about football and is into football, that's why we're in this world to experience those moments, so that was pleasing."

Frank revealed he showed makeshift wing-back Sergi Canos footage of Chelsea winger Pedro to inspire him ahead of the game.

The Spaniard is used to playing as part of a front three, but stepped in today after regular Henrik Dalsgaard broke a bone in his hand in training two days ago.

"I took him into the office on Tuesday morning and asked him if he could play wing-back. He said 'yeah, I think so.' He told me that he couldn't defend, but it's all about mindset, but then I showed him footage of Pedro. He played wing-back in the 3-4-3 under Conte. He did very, very well, stepping in and helping the team."

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Dean Smith in charge of Aston Villa on January 19, 2019
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Dean Smith hails fighting spirit of Villa after late comeback

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